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Phyllis A. Whitney
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    (September 9, 1903-February 8, 2008)
    Born in Yokohama, Japan
    Wrote over 70 mystery novels for both adults and juveniles
    Titles included ‘A Place for Ann’ (1941), ‘Red Is For Murder’ (1943), ‘Ever After’ (1948), ‘The Quicksilver Pool’ (1955), ‘Thunder Heights’ (1960), ‘Mystery of the Haunted Pool’ (1960), ‘Mystery of the Hidden Hand’ (1963), ‘The Vanishing Scarecrow’ (1971), ‘The Golden Unicorn’ (1976), ‘Dream of Orchids’ (1985), ‘The Singing Stones’ (1990), ‘and ‘Amethyst Dreams’ (1997)
    Sold over 50 million books
    Named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America (1988)
    She complained that genre writers rarely got critical respect: ‘We're read by millions ... yet we've never become quite legitimate.’
    Her mysteries almost always had a woman in peril as the protagonist.
    She said, ‘I wish I could think of a suitable name for the kind of writing I do…. 'Gothic' doesn't do it - too restrictive ... 'Romantic suspense' sounds terribly sappy. Though we may have to accept that term for want of a better.’
    She held off on writing an autobiography until she was 102 years old; she did not finish it.
    Her middle name, Ayame, means ‘Iris’ in Japanese.
    She said that not going to college had its benefits: ‘I probably would have had a snooty professor who would have told me that I couldn't write. Instead, I've been educating myself all my life.’
    She taught courses in writing juvenile fiction at Northwestern and New York University.
    ’Time’ called her ‘the only American in her field with a major reputation.’
    She said, ‘All my books have happy endings. I don't see any point in letting my readers down at the end.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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